Most people have heard that doing cardio after weightlifting is best for burning fat. But there are lots of other factors to consider, including the type of workout you do and when you plan to do it. Here’s how to decide whether your cardio should come before or after your strength training:
What is more important to achieve in your workout, muscle gain or fat loss?
It all depends on what you’re looking for in your workout.
If your goal is fat loss, then cardio is a good idea. Cardio will burn more calories than weight lifting and help to lose fat faster. It can also be very useful if you are trying to shed pounds before an event like a wedding or reunion because it makes the body look leaner and slimmer without adding bulk.
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However, if your goal is muscle gain, then weight lifting is key! Lifting weights builds muscle which boosts metabolism so that the body burns more calories even at rest (the best kind of workout). The stronger muscles also support a healthy immune system and improve posture as well as reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins into the blood stream causing us feel happier overall!
How much time do you have available for your workout?
It’s important to prioritize things when time is a factor. If you have less than an hour, focus on your priorities. For example: if strength is one of your goals and cardio is not at the top of that list, then save the cardio for later in the week or when you have more time. If strength is still a priority but flexibility or balance are also important, then do some stretching after your weightlifting session.
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If you have more than three hours available per day, mixing up what you’re doing can be effective since each activity has its own benefits. For example: if one day focuses on building endurance with intervals while another focuses on building power with heavy weights, both kinds of workouts will help improve overall fitness levels without over-training any particular area too much.
What are your overall fitness goals?
If your fitness goals are primarily to burn calories and lose weight, then cardio is for you. If your fitness goals are to build muscle, gain strength and/or improve endurance and stamina, then weightlifting is for you.
If you want to do both cardio and weightlifting (and who doesn’t?), then the best approach is to split up your workouts into two separate sessions. If your schedule allows one full hour of exercise per day and the idea of having two 45-minute workouts seems daunting or impossible, stick with one 60-90 minute workout per week where you alternate between cardio and weights throughout the training session.
Consider why you are doing cardio
It’s important to consider why you are doing cardio. Do you want to burn calories? Are you looking to build endurance, cardiovascular fitness, increase your metabolism, or improve your heart health?
If your goal is weight loss and fat burning then it makes sense to do cardio first because it will help raise the temperature in your body and get more blood flowing around your muscles for better nutrient delivery—the perfect environment for a fat burning session!
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However if getting leaner isn’t a priority but rather building muscle is then doing weights first will help ensure that all of those hard earned calories go into building muscle instead of being used up during the cardio session.
What days and times of the week can you commit to working out?
If it’s just not going to work with your schedule, then pick another day and time. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday at 6:00 AM or Sunday at 8:00 PM; if you aren’t able to commit to a workout schedule, then don’t choose that workout method. The same goes for committing yourself only part-time—if you’re only going to work out twice per week, then consider training with weights on those days instead of doing cardio afterwards since that will still provide an effective workout without requiring as much time or effort from you.
If after reading through this article and considering all these factors still decide that what I’m saying doesn’t apply directly enough for your life right now (and I’d argue that these are pretty universal truths), then maybe just try something else altogether! There are plenty of other ways of getting fit without needing any equipment whatsoever (like running long distances). And if all else fails… You know what they say: “Nothing ventured nothing gained.”
Do you prefer high-intensity or low-intensity exercise?
Depending on your fitness goals, the answer may seem obvious. If you’re looking to lose fat and build muscle, high-intensity exercise is a better choice. However, low-intensity exercise has a place in many people’s routines as an injury prevention tool and method of building cardiorespiratory endurance.
If you’re looking to gain muscle or get more fit overall with minimal time investment (less than 45 minutes per session), high intensity training is your best bet. If you want to improve cardiovascular health without spending too much time at the gym or risking injury from heavy lifting, low intensity training might be better for you.
Does it help to switch things up?
As a general rule, it’s good to keep things interesting. Doing the same exercise routine over and over can cause your body to get used to it, so it’s important to switch things up every now and then. If you’re bored of doing cardio before weights, try switching them around! You might find that you enjoy one more than the other.
Also remember that your workout should be challenging enough for you; if something is too easy for you all the time and doesn’t feel like much of a challenge anymore, then change what exercises are included in your routine so that they’re more difficult for you. The point is not necessarily increasing the weight or intensity of each individual exercise all at once (though if this does happen naturally as part of an overall increase in strength and stamina) but instead just switching up those exercises in order to keep yourself from getting bored with them too quickly.
You can motivate yourself without being mean to yourself.
If you’re like me, you might be tempted to use self-loathing as a motivator. You may tell yourself that the only way to get through your workout is by being mean and cruel to yourself. I know this because I have been wrong about this many times before.
But guess what? Being kind to yourself can also be motivating! And even if it’s not *as* much of an incentive as tearing yourself down on the inside, it still helps get your butt in gear and do something productive. Here are some ways that being nice (or at least neutral) toward yourself can help:
- When your body isn’t feeling 100%, kind words can go a long way toward making you feel better about getting up and working out anyway.
- If you’re feeling grouchy or frustrated with someone else, making sure that they know how awesome they are will make them more likely to want to hang out with us again—or at least not leave us hanging when we need them most!
- When our friends are having tough times, letting them know how much we care about them goes a long way toward helping them through those tough times
Should I do cardio before or after weights?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some people prefer cardio before weights, others like to do it afterwards. The reason for this difference is that some people feel better after doing their cardio and want to lift with more energy than those who don’t feel as good post-cardio. In general, it is a good idea to do cardio before weights if you are a beginner or someone who has not been doing any kind of exercise. This way, your muscles will be warmed up and ready to lift. If you are an experienced lifter or athlete who wants to focus on building muscle mass, then doing your cardio afterwards is probably best.
You’re the only one who knows what is best for your body. You are the one who has to weigh the pros and cons of cardio before or after weights and decide which option will be most beneficial for you. Remember, though: Even if you don’t find a perfect balance between weight training and cardio at first, don’t give up! It may take some trial and error before you discover what works best for your goals.